“You’re big, you should bobsled”, little did I know how much that statement would change my life. At 32 years old I am finishing up my second season on the USA Women’s Bobsled Team. Bobsled is a sport that requires a great deal of power and speed. You have to be able to move a heavy object quickly while running down hill on ice, just before jumping in for the ride of your life. I still remember my first trip down the Lake Placid track, known for being one of the most complex tracks in the world; it delivers one of the more violent rides for those crazy enough to take it on. The experience is often described as being kicked of a cliff in a tin can. (https://youtu.be/WgOYzbA0jLU) I can’t say that description is far from reality. I thought to myself, “You can do anything for a minute”. Riding in the back of a bobsled, folded in half, absorbing every bump and taking sometimes up to 5 G’s of force is just another day at the office for me now but I do remember that first trip feeling like the longest minute of my life!
As a member of the World Cup Team I have been afforded the privilege of competing at the highest level which means majority of my competitions/races are overseas in Europe. We compete in some incredible and historic “venues”, one of my favorites being St. Moritz Switzerland, also known as the birthplace of bobsled. This historic track is the last handmade natural track in the world; track workers re-build it every year only using snow and ice. Weaving through trees and nestled in the Swiss Alps, St. Moritz has appropriately been coined, “The Top of the World”.
Seeing different parts of the World has always been a passion of mine. Though traveling for vacation and traveling for sport are very different experiences. The World Cup season is comprised of 8 races, 8 different tracks/locations. We have a week at each location before moving on; unfortunately that leaves little time for sightseeing. As an athlete it is crucial that we continue weight training and sprint workouts, in addition to eating properly and getting adequate sleep. In some locations we have the ability to train in a gym, others we turn our sled garages into weight rooms and side streets into sprinting tracks.
One of the biggest challenges I face on tour is nutrition. Food in Europe is delicious but unfortunately not all of it is healthy or conducive to quality sports performance. Getting the proper nutrition is always easier when you cook for yourself but unfortunately that is not an option when living out of a suitcase in a different hotel every week. We all travel with protein powders and vitamins. For me, liquid nutrition gets old quickly. Between long training days at the track and long days on the road, being able to incorporate ONA bars into my nutrition regime was a real lifesaver this season. The bars are filling, they, don’t take up much room (important since we cart around all of our belongings all season) and most importantly they taste great. Being gluten free and dairy are also key, a few of my teammates and I have found sticking to more of a Paleo diet helpful in maintaining more muscle and staving off fat during the competitive season.
Now that the season is over, it time to regroup and start preparing for off-season training. With the next Winter Games two years out, (Pyeongchang, Korea, 2018) it is time to dial in my technique and training to make a “push” for the Olympic Team. I will spend most of my off-season in Colorado Springs at the Olympic Training Center. This will allow me to get more specialized coaching and give me access to more recovery options (from the training center and Denver Sports Recovery). If you would like to keep up with my journey to the 2018 Winter Olympics, you can follow me on Social Media: